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How To Get Rid of Pigeon Fleas

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Pigeon fleas (Ceratophyllus columbae) are a common nuisance not just for the birds but also for humans and pets. These tiny insects feed on the blood, skin, and keratin of birds, causing irritation and discomfort. However, eradicating pigeon fleas is not an impossible task. This comprehensive guide will walk you through various methods, including the use of insecticides, natural remedies, and preventive measures, to help you effectively get rid of pigeon fleas.


To get rid of pigeon fleas, you can use insecticides like MoxiVet Plus, SCATT, or ARDAP Spot-On Tick and Flea Protection, following the instructions on the product label. Additionally, natural remedies like food-grade diatomaceous earth, vinegar sprays, and regular vacuuming can help control the infestation. Maintaining cleanliness by regularly cleaning pigeon nests and giving the birds baths with borax can prevent future infestations. In severe cases, professional pest control services may be necessary.

Identifying Pigeon Fleas

Before you begin the process of eradication, it’s important to correctly identify pigeon fleas. Look for small black bugs jumping around near pigeons or their nests. The male pigeon flea is approximately 2.5 mm long, while the female is around 3.2 mm long. Pigeon fleas are different from other fleas that infest mammals, such as dog fleas and cat fleas, which have more rounded heads and more spikes on their legs.

Signs of a Pigeon Flea Infestation

The signs of a pigeon flea infestation include restlessness in birds, skin irritation, excessive preening, visible mites, feather damage, and general unthriftiness and paleness in infested pigeons. If you see any of these signs, it’s time to take action.

Treatment Options for Pigeon Fleas


Products like MoxiVet Plus, SCATT, and ARDAP Spot-On Tick and Flea Protection are designed to treat mites and lice in pigeons. Follow the instructions on the product label for proper application.

Natural Remedies

Natural methods can also be effective in controlling pigeon fleas. Food-grade diatomaceous earth can be sprinkled on the impacted areas. Homemade sprays made from vinegar can help repel fleas. Regularly vacuuming the area where pigeons roost can help remove pigeon fleas and their eggs.

Maintenance and Prevention

Maintaining cleanliness is crucial in controlling pigeon flea infestations. Regularly clean pigeon nests and other areas where the birds reside. To prevent future infestations, give your pigeons regular baths, possibly adding borax (1 tablespoon per gallon of water) to the bathwater.

When to Seek Professional Help

If the infestation is severe, consider contacting a pest control service. Companies like Arrow Exterminators, Critter Busters, or Terminix specialize in bird control and removal.


Pigeon fleas can be a serious problem, but with the right knowledge and resources, you can effectively control and eliminate these pests. Remember, a single treatment may not be enough to eliminate all fleas and their eggs, so it’s essential to repeat the treatment as needed and maintain a clean environment to prevent re-infestation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can pigeon fleas infest humans or pets?

While pigeon fleas primarily infest pigeons, they can also bite humans and pets. However, they cannot live and reproduce on human or pet blood, so it’s unlikely for them to cause a full-blown infestation.

How long does it take to get rid of a pigeon flea infestation?

The duration to completely eradicate a pigeon flea infestation can vary depending on the severity of the infestation and the treatment methods used. In general, it may take several weeks to a few months to fully eliminate pigeon fleas.

Are pigeon fleas dangerous to pigeons?

Yes, pigeon fleas can cause discomfort and health issues in pigeons. Infested pigeons may show signs of restlessness, skin irritation, excessive preening, feather damage, and general unthriftiness and paleness.

Can I use dog or cat flea treatments on pigeons?

It’s not recommended to use dog or cat flea treatments on pigeons without consulting a vet. These treatments may contain ingredients that are harmful to birds.

Are there any home remedies to prevent pigeon flea infestations?

Yes, maintaining cleanliness in the areas where pigeons reside can help prevent infestations. Regularly vacuuming, giving pigeons baths with borax solution, and using natural repellents like vinegar sprays or food-grade diatomaceous earth can also be effective.

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